Skip to main content

Start a Corporation in Arizona

Use our free business tools below to complete your Arizona Articles of Incorporation. This is the document you file directly with the Arizona Corporation Commission to form your corporation.

If you want more, hire us to form your corporation in Arizona for just $39 + state fees. We’ll get your business stood up in minutes with a free domain, website, email, business phone, and more.

File today

with the help of a Registered Agent

How to Start a Corporation in Arizona

An Arizona corporation is a business with a legal existence separate from its owners. If properly maintained, a corporation can conduct business in its own name and has many of the rights and obligations of a natural person, including the ability to enter into contracts, sue and be sued, hold assets, and pay taxes in its own name.

To start a corporation in Arizona, you’ll need to do three things: appoint a registered agent, choose a name for your business, and file Articles of Incorporation with the Arizona Corporation Commission. The Articles of Incorporation cost $60 to file ($95 expedited). Once processed by the state, this document formally creates your Arizona corporation. However, to actually ready the corporation to do business, you must complete several additional steps.

1. Name Your Corporation

If you’re starting a new business, you probably already know what you want to name your corporation. But you’ll need to know if your preferred name is available. To find out, visit the AZCC Entity Search and browse until you find the perfect name for your corporation.

Your corporation’s legal name is the one you write on your Articles of Incorporation. An assumed business name, which is also called a trade name or DBA, is any other name your business uses. For example, imagine you start a brunch restaurant called Champagne and Eggs, Corp, but then you start serving dinner as well, so you want to change your restaurant name to Champagne All Day. Champagne and Eggs, Corp would still be your business’s legal name, but you could operate using the name Champagne All Day if you registered it as an assumed business name.

In Arizona, to use an assumed business name, you must fill out a Trade Name Application on the Secretary of State website and pay a $10 filing fee.

Considering using an assumed business name? Learn how to get an Arizona DBA.

Yes. Arizona DBAs last five years. You can renew for another five years by filing online for a Trade Name Renewal and paying the $10 fee.

2. Designate a Registered Agent

Per AZ Rev Stat § 10-501 (2020), every Arizona corporation must appoint a registered agent. You don’t need to hire a registered agent, but if you do, make sure your registered agent will list their address on your articles wherever possible to ensure maximum privacy.

At a minimum, Arizona registered agents must have a physical address in Arizona and accept important legal documents on your business’s behalf—and get them to you. In other words, your registered agent’s address acts as the official place where any service of process and official mail for your Arizona LLCArizona corporation or Arizona nonprofit will be sent.

However, the right registered agent service can do much more. At Northwest, we go above and beyond the minimum to ensure top speed, security, privacy and support.

If you are just starting your business, then you can become your own statutory agent right away. When you are filing your formation documents, there is a spot available for you to fill in your statutory agent’s information—simply put your name and street address in that space, and you’re then your business’s statutory agent.

If you have already formed your Arizona LLC or Arizona corporation and wish to become your own statutory agent, the process is pretty straightforward. You will file a Statement of Change form. There are different forms for LLCs and corporations. For LLCs, this is three-page document with a $5 fee. For corporations, there’s a slightly different form with no fee. On both forms, there is a place for you to write your name and street address as the new statutory agent.

Yes! There are a couple of ways you can do that.

  • File a Registered Agent Statement of Change form with the Arizona Division of Corporations.
  • The change form is available instantly if you place an order with us.
  • It’s a simple process, but if you’d like more specifics, visit our guide on how to change your registered agent in Arizona.

3. Submit Articles of Incorporation

Learn more about each Articles of Incorporation requirement below.

Note that the information you provide becomes part of the public record—permanently.

You’ll need to include the following information in your Articles of Incorporation:

  • Entity Type. Select whether your business is a “business corporation” or a “professional corporation.” Professional corporations provide state-licensed services (think doctors and lawyers). If you are a professional corporation, you’ll also have to briefly describe your professional services in your Articles. Tip: Most corporations are just regular business corporations.
  • Entity Name. Your name must include “Association,” “Company,” “Corporation,” “Limited,” “Incorporated,” or an abbreviation for one of these words, like “Inc.”
  • Professional Corporation Services. Skip this section if you’re a regular business corporation and not a professional corporation. Otherwise, explain the professional service you’ll provide in a few words.
  • Character of Business. What is your corporation actually going to do? Manufacture pet food? Sell and install flooring? Just put a few words to describe the main business activity of your corporation.
  • Shares. You have to authorize (create) at least one share. You can distribute some or all of these shares later on at your organizational meeting. In your articles, list how many of each kind of share you’re authorizing. Classes of shares might be, for example, common and preferred, with each class subject to different rights and restrictions.
  • Arizona Known Place of Business. While it sounds like something out of an old detective movie, “known place of business” is just a physical Arizona business address. It can be your actual office location, or it can be your statutory agent’s address. (That means when you hire Northwest, our address can go here—and you can better keep your personal address off public documents). An added bonus of using our address here? Our office is in Pima County, one of two Arizona counties where you don’t have to personally file a notice of publication in local newspapers after incorporation.
  • Directors. You have to list the name of every director of your corporation. You also have to include their business address, which can be the corporation’s “known place of business” (which, once again, can be our address when you hire Northwest).
  • Statutory Agent. For your Arizona registered agent (aka “statutory agent”), you can list an individual (like yourself) or a business that provides statutory agent services (like Northwest). We recommend Northwest.
  • Statutory Agent Address. This Arizona street address is where your statutory agent will be available to accept legal notifications on behalf of your business. Like all the information in your Articles of Incorporation, this address will become part of the permanent public record of your corporation. Hire Northwest and our address will go here.
  • Statutory Agent Acceptance. Your agent has to accept their appointment by completing and signing an attachment called the Statutory Agent Acceptance (Form M002). This way, the state knows that your agent is aware of their responsibilities to your corporation.
  • Certificate of Disclosure. This is a mandatory form (Form C003) submitted along with the Arizona Articles of Incorporation. Basically, the state wants to make sure that no one in your business is playing fast and loose with financial laws. For example, you have to disclose if any director, officer, major shareholder, etc. has fraud or antitrust convictions or has recently gone through bankruptcy with another corporation.
  • Arizona Incorporator. Someone has to sign your Arizona Articles of Incorporation, and that person is your incorporator. Incorporators don’t have to be directors, shareholders, or anyone in the corporation—but they do have to be willing to provide their name, address, and signature. We’ll be your incorporator when you hire Northwest.

It’s a fact that all the information provided in the Articles of Incorporation will become part of the public record. When your personal information is accessible by anyone, it opens your business up to hassles like junk mail.

To keep your information off the public record, you can hire a registered agent company—like us. We’ll list our address on this form so you don’t have to. Your personal addresses will stay off the public record and away from prying eyes.

You can file Arizona articles online, by mail or in person. For online filings, you’ll need to create an account with eCorp (the Arizona Corporation Commission’s online filing system). Paper filings must be submitted with a cover sheet to:

Arizona Corporation Commission
Corporate Filings Section
1300 W. Washington St., Phoenix, Arizona 85007

Start Your Arizona Corporation Today!

Get Started

4. Publish Your Corporation

Arizona corporations need to publish new of their company within 60 days of formation. However, there is an exception to this rule: if your statutory agent is located in Maricopa or Pima County, the Arizona Corporations Commission will publish your corporation for you, and you don’t have to do a thing.

If your statutory agent is not located in Maricopa or Pima County, you’ll need to meet the Arizona corporation publication requirement. To do so, you’ll need to publish a legal notice:

  • in one newspaper
  • for three consecutive issues
  • in the county where your statutory agent is located.

Our office is in Pima County, so if you hire us, you can skip this step entirely.

It depends. Publication fees can vary pretty widely. You’ll have to check with your local newspaper to find out their publication fee. Newspaper fees are typically between $60-$300.

Once the Arizona Corporations Commission approves your Articles of Incorporation, they will send you a Notice of Publication form. This is a form that you’ll need to complete and send to your local newspaper. To fill it out, you’ll need to provide the following information about your corporation:

  • Business name
  • File number
  • Business addresses
  • Statutory agent name and addresses

Once you’ve completed the Notice of Publication, you’ll send it to a newspaper in the county where your statutory agent is located, ask them to run it in three consecutive issues, and pay the publication fee.

After your publication has run in three issues, the newspaper should send you an Affidavit of Publication, which is your proof that you’ve met the publication requirement. If for some reason you don’t receive an Affidavit of Publication within a month or so, call the newspaper to request it.

Once you have received the Affidavit of Publication, you can either file it with the Arizona Corporations Commission or you keep it with your company’s records. Keep in mind that if you file it, the information it contains (including member names and addresses) will become part of the public record.

The Arizona Corporations Commission will accept your Affidavit of Publication either by email or by mail. Be sure to include your corporation’s name, file number, and your contact information in your request.

If you don’t publish your corporation within 60 days of receiving a Notice of Publication from the Arizona Corporations Commission, your corporation could be administratively dissolved.

5. Get an EIN

You can get an EIN directly from the IRS. The application is free, and most businesses can apply online. However, if you don’t have a social security number, you’ll need to submit a paper application form. Can’t bear to fill out yet another application? Hire Northwest to get your EIN for you. Just add on EIN service during checkout when you sign up for our incorporation service.

Learn how to get an EIN for your corporation.

The IRS requires corporations to get an EIN for their federal tax filings. You may also be asked for your EIN when opening a bank account, securing a loan, or applying for local business permits and licenses.

You can get an EIN directly from the IRS. The application is free, and most businesses can apply online. However, if you don’t have a social security number, you’ll need to submit a paper application form. Can’t bear to fill out yet another application? Hire Northwest to get your EIN for you. Just add on EIN service during checkout when you sign up for our incorporation service.

6. File the Beneficial Ownership Information Report

As of January 1, 2024, most US corporations need to file a Beneficial Ownership Information (BOI) Report with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). Entities required to file the BOI Report (called reporting companies) need to provide identifying information about the company and its beneficial owners. Newly formed companies must also provide information about the company applicant.

  • Beneficial Owner: Includes everyone with at least 25% ownership stake in the corporation or with substantial control over company operations, such as senior officers and General Counsel.
  • Company Applicant: The person who filed your Articles of Incorporation with the Arizona Corporation Commission. AKA your incorporator. Only companies formed in 2024 or later need to include company applicant information in their report.

You can file the BOI Report online via FinCEN’s E-Filing system or hire us to handle it for you for $9.

The deadline for your first BOI Report will depend on when you incorporated. If your company was formed…

  • Before 2024, you need to file by January 1, 2025.
  • In 2024, you must file within 90 days of incorporation.
  • In 2025 or later, file within 30 days of incorporation.

New corporations must provide information about each beneficial owner and their company applicant. (Corporations formed before 2024 don’t need to give company applicant information.) You’ll also need to provide some basic company information.

Beneficial owner and company applicant information: 

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Residential or business street address
  • Personal identification document (such as a driver’s license or passport), including the ID number

Company information:

  • Legal business name
  • Any DBAs/fictitious business names
  • Business street address
  • State of incorporation
  • Employer Identification Number (EIN)

Yes. Any time information that’s required on the BOI Report changes, (such as the chief officers, company name, or address) you’ll need to file an updated report within 30 days. You can file your updated report for free through FinCEN’s E-Filing system.

No. Unlike the information on your Arizona Articles of Incorporation, your BOI Report won’t be publicly available. The only groups that will be able to access BOI Report information are US government agencies, law enforcement, and financial institutions (for customer verification purposes).

Yes, there are 23 classes of exemption from the BOI Report. The most common exemptions include:

  • Large operating companies
  • Most financial companies, such as banks and credit unions
  • Investment companies registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
  • Insurance companies registered with a state or federal agency
  • Public utilities companies registered with a state or federal agency
  • Tax-exempt entities

7. Write Corporate Bylaws

Bylaws are the internal rules you set for your business. They put into writing how decisions will be made and who gets to make those decisions. All the major organizational processes and procedures for your corporation will go in your bylaws.

For more on Arizona Corporate Bylaws (including free Arizona Corporate Bylaws templates), see our Arizona Corporate Bylaws resource.

Yes. AZ Rev Stat § 10-206 (2019) states that the board of directors shall adopt bylaws. You don’t have to submit bylaws to the state though. Corporate bylaws are internal documents you keep with your other corporate records, such as meeting minutes and resolutions.

Corporate bylaws cover basic policies and procedures for issues such as company finances and management. Bylaws should cover a range of topics, answering key questions like those below:

  • Meetings: When and where will meetings for shareholders and directors be held? How many attendees are required to transact business? What are the procedures for voting or proxy voting? How do you call a special meeting? What actions can be taken without a meeting?

  • Stock: How are stock certificates issued and transferred? How is voting affected by issues such as corporate stock owners or fractional shares?

  • Directors and officers: How many directors must there be? Which officer positions are required? What powers do they have? How do you fill a vacancy or remove a director or officer?

  • Finances: What are the procedures for retaining profits, issuing dividends, and paying bills? Who can withdraw money from the corporate bank account or sign checks?

  • Records: Where is the corporate book to be kept? What information will be maintained? How are requests for review or access honored? Can records or copies be kept or distributed digitally?

  • Amendments and emergencies: Who can amend bylaws and how? Can emergency bylaws be adopted in the case of disaster?

According to AZ Rev Stat § 10-206 (2019), bylaws can make other provisions as well, assuming additions are in accordance with state law. For example, AZ Rev Stat § 10-627 (2019) states that Arizona bylaws can restrict the transfer of shares.

Creating bylaws can be overwhelming—where do you start? Northwest can help. We give you free corporate bylaws when you hire us to form your Arizona corporation. We know what kinds of topics and questions corporations need to address, and we’ve spent years refining and improving our forms. We offer many other free corporate forms as well, including templates for resolutions and meeting minutes.

8. Hold an Organizational Meeting

An organizational meeting is the first official meeting of the corporation after the business is legally formed with the state. At this meeting, bylaws are adopted, officers are appointed, and any other initial business is conducted. The first meeting minutes should also be recorded and added to your corporate record book.

AZ Rev Stat § 10-701 (2019)—the statute that goes over the requirement for an organizational meeting—is pretty straightforward, simply stating that the majority of the board should call a meeting of the board of directors to adopt bylaws, appoint officers and complete initial business.

9. Open a Corporate Bank Account

Businesses that mix personal and business finances together risk losing their liability protections, so your corporation will need its own bank account. In addition, a corporate bank account is essential for easily accepting payments, paying bills and holding funds.

To open a corporate bank account in Arizona, you’ll need to bring the following with you to the bank:

  • A copy of the Arizona corporation’s Articles of Incorporation

  • The corporation’s bylaws

  • The corporation’s EIN

If your bylaws don’t specifically assign the power to open a bank account, you may also want to bring a corporate resolution to open a bank account. The resolution would state that the person going to the bank is authorized by the business to open the account in the name of the corporation. At Northwest, we provide free corporate bank resolutions, along with many other free corporate forms, to help you get started fast.

10. File Arizona Reports & Taxes

In Arizona, corporations file an annual report each year. In addition, your corporation is subject to state taxes, including the state’s corporate net income tax and a gross receipts tax called the “Transaction Privilege Tax.”

Your Arizona Annual Report is a form you submit every year to the Arizona Corporation Commission in order to confirm your current ownership and contact information. The report and $45 fee are due on the anniversary of your incorporation. (It’s like your company’s birthday! Except the ACC gets the present.)

These filings can be easy to forget—which is why we send our clients automatic reminders. Or better yet, let us file for you. With our business renewal service, we can complete and submit your annual report for you for $100 plus the state fee.

Arizona corporations are required to pay a $45 filing fee to submit their report each year. Forget to file? There’s a $9 a month penalty. After 90 days unpaid, the ACC will send you a Notice of Pending Administrations Dissolution. Roughly 60 days after that, the state will dissolve your corporation. Yikes.

The Arizona corporate net income tax rate is a flat 4.9%. There’s a minimum tax of $50.

Arizona has no sales tax per se, but the state has a Transaction Privilege Tax (TPT). This is a gross receipts tax that sellers pay on their income from retail sales. Businesses are allowed to pass the TPT onto customers, so it typically ends up appearing similar to a sales tax. The state TPT rate is 5.6%, but cities and counties can tack on their own TPTs, so the total rate can be as much as double the state rate.

Ready to Start a Corporation in Arizona?